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3 projects receive funding to preserve Black history

July 27, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Three projects in Kentucky are receiving $150,000 in federal funding to help preserve African American history, officials said.

The funding will help projects at Cherokee State Park in Hardin, the Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah and the Palmer Pharmacy Building in Lexington, state officials said. Each will receive $50,000 to continue preservation efforts.

Cherokee State Park was the first segregated state park and operated until 1964. The funding will pay for interpretative signage and programming.

Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah is restoring the Purple Room, which was used as an after-hours gathering space for musicians. The hotel served Black travelers at a time when lodging was segregated.

An organization plans a feasibility study and business plan to reuse the Palmer Pharmacy Building in Lexington, which was built by Black pharmacist Dr. Zirl A. Palmer in the 1960s.

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“These grants further support the preservation of these irreplaceable historic resources that help identify and tell the stories of African Americans in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement.

Funding for the projects is part of an ongoing effort by state tourism officials to attract new, diverse travel markets.